Noria’s multi-disciplinary experts have served as principal investigators in lubricant and machine failure studies across diverse industries and applications. These include aerospace (NASA), military (Air Force, Marine Corps), power generation, gas transmission, petrochemical and countless others. Noria’s failure investigation services apply knowledge-based problem-solving methods using advanced Root Cause Analysis (RCA) methodology. Our goal is to quickly and efficiently identify failure causal conditions to enable a permanent and complete remediation, returning machines to reliable service and preventing failure reoccurrence.
Fields of Specialization
Our technical consulting team has decades of cumulative experience in analytical and troubleshooting methods related to physical and chemical lubricant analysis, tribology, contamination control, filter debris analysis and wear particle characterization. We conduct onsite inspections and perform detailed failure causation analysis of components such as rolling-element bearings, gears, engines, pumps and others. Below is a list of Noria’s unique range of analytical capabilities.
- Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
Noria benefits from broad resources that are unavailable from other service organizations. These include:
- In-house Subject-Matter Experts. Our full-time staff of technical experts in lubrication and tribology possess multi-disciplinary skills and experience.
- Contract Consultants and Specialists. Dozens of contract technical experts have collaborated with Noria over the years, working on some of the most difficult and challenging projects. Noria is quick to engage these services where such specialized skills and analytical capabilities are required.
- Knowledge Warehouse. The world’s largest searchable technical library consists of more than 1500 technical reference books and more than 50,000 technical papers, articles and reports, all relating to lubrication, tribology, oil analysis and machine reliability.
- Case History Database. Noria maintains comprehensive case files of all past failure investigation cases. These are commonly used as reference when working on similar cases.
Typical Failure Investigation Process
Failure investigations follow a sequence of steps that may vary somewhat depending on the nature of the failure, complexity and associated machine type(s). Each study is led by an experienced principal investigator (PI) with full access to all of Noria’s resources. Most failure investigations require laboratory analysis of failed parts, filters, lubricants, sludge/deposits/sediment, varnish and/or wear debris.
The typical sequence of steps followed by most failure investigations are as follows:
- Principal investigator (PI) is assigned to the case based on case type, relevant experience and statement of work (SOW).
- Client submits a comprehensive case file with background information and discovery material (photos, operating data, failure history, timeline, troubleshooting studies, expert reports, lab work, machine drawings, etc.).
- Case file is studied by the principal investigator.
- PI makes site visit, inspects subject machine, interviews personnel, takes samples for analysis and establishes clear project objectives and timeline. A preliminary list of possible root causes is presented and discussed with the client.
- Samples are forwarded to laboratory, and testing protocol for each sample is established. Budget of lab work is communicated to and approved by client before testing commences.
- Lab data is analyzed and interpreted by FI.
- Preliminary report of findings is presented to client, usually by conference call.
- Final report of findings and remediation plan is written and submitted to client.
- Post-report conference call is scheduled as needed.
Laboratories are selected for each case based on the nature of the failure, lubricant type and required test protocol. Because of the hundreds of commercial contract laboratories offering services, a discriminating approach to selection can be made for the benefit of the client in achieving efficient and accurate case outcome. The following is a list of testing specializations offered by Noria-approved contract labs:
- Metallography and metallurgy
- Grease analysis
- Filter debris analysis
- Wear particle identification and characterization
- Particle contamination characterization
- Infrared and molecular spectroscopy
- Elemental spectroscopy (ICP, RDE, XRF, SEM-EDS, acid dissolution, etc.)
- Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
- Radiological fluid testing
- Chemical microscopy
- ASTM lubricant performance testing
- In-service oil analysis
- Tribometry and film-strength testing
- Microbial contamination testing
- Aviation and aerospace fluid analysis
- Fire-resistant fluids analysis
- Varnish and sludge analysis
Contact Noria’s business development team to get a quote: 918-749-1400 x201.